It is already great to be off from work until the new year, but having a new Christmas present tea to taste makes life even better! I was fascinated by the name of this tea.
Being of direct Scottish heritage (my mother was born and partially raised in Scotland), and having spent a month and a half in Scotland myself, I was intrigued by the inclusion of Scottish thistle in this tea. Heather, I could understand. After all, heather is a sweet and dainty little flower that grows on the Scottish hillsides. Thistle, on the other hand, has painful thorns. According to legend, the invention of the kilt was necessary to allow Scottish soldiers to be mobile when marching through fields covered with this prickly plant. So, thistle is not an ingredient that I would expect to find in my beverage.
When I opened the hinged tin and pierced the bag inside, I noticed that the short tea leaves were like coffee grounds. Also, many red and yellow thistle blossom pieces were mixed with the leaves. The aroma of the unbrewed leaves was standard African tea with something extra, although the smell was not flowery.
I brewed the leaves for five minutes at 212 degrees, the maximum recommended time and temperature. The color was a brownish gold. The brewed aroma was again standard tea with something else.
I hate to be repetitious, but the flavor of this tea also was…you guessed it…standard tea with something extra. The best way to explain it is that the sweet overtones and astringency that I’ve often noticed in flowery teas were present in this tea, but not to the extent where I could classify them. I can only identify the taste by calling it STANDARD AFRICAN TEA PLUS.
This is a pleasant tasting tea. It is not bitter. I liked drinking four cups of it. I just did not find the flavor easy to pinpoint. Maybe that doesn’t matter. Perhaps I should just shut up and enjoy it.